Kenya Medical Association raises concern over commercialization of Sputnik-V vaccine

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The Kenya Medical Association (KMA) has criticized the commercialization of the Sputnik -V vaccine in the country, saying this is likely to set a bad trend that could see most people locked out of the vaccination exercise.

In a statement issued on Sunday, KMA President Dr. Were Onyino said the government should ensure that vaccines being offered in the country are affordable and free from profiteering.

“Kenya Medical Association would like to express its concern on the commercialization of the Sputnik -V vaccine which has locked out many Kenyans from accessing the vaccine contrary to an earlier assurance that the vaccines will be available to the population for free or at a small surcharge fee. This has set a dangerous precedent that can result in the vaccines being priced out of the market and leaving out more than 40 % of Kenyans who live below the poverty line,” reads the statement.

The Association further faulted the manner in which the vaccination exercise is being conducted saying: “We also note that the vaccines roll out is being conducted in a haphazard manner in the last few weeks locking out the Phase 1 and the above 58 years old senior citizens.”

“The Ministry of Health should stick to the Phase 1 and accelerated Phase 2 approach in order to ensure that the most vulnerable in the society are
protected first. Indeed, this is the well accepted approach world over which has been effective in reducing the number of deaths from COVID -19 infection,” said KMA.

The Kenya Medical Association is recommending that should there a Public Private Partnership (PPP) will be required to fast-track the vaccination of Kenyans, then expression of interest be done in an open and transparent manner through the print media to ensure the process is accountable.

KMA also proposes that vaccines to be imported be those that are approved by the World Health Organization and that importation, pricing and roll out of the vaccines be aligned to National and Global Policies and Strategies.

“The Vaccines to be imported should be those shown to be effective against the local strains of COVID 19 virus in the country and region… The Vaccines are affordable and free from profiteering as was the case with the PPEs at the start of the pandemic,” says KMA.

“The vaccination process should be highly ethical and transparent. All forms of fraud and cheating by both providers and consumers should be discouraged, monitored and heavily punished irrespective of the status of the culprit.”

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Source: citizentv.co.ke